Since the November 2021 flooding disaster, B.C. has seen a greater need for gravel in order to make Highway repairs — such as the Coquihalla Highway, where a majority of the gravel from the Hope-area pit has been destined for. (Kemone Moodley/Hope Standard)

Since the November 2021 flooding disaster, B.C. has seen a greater need for gravel in order to make Highway repairs — such as the Coquihalla Highway, where a majority of the gravel from the Hope-area pit has been destined for. (Kemone Moodley/Hope Standard)

Trans Mountain pipeline reps address Kettle Valley Road truck traffic concerns

Hope council hears update on project from company officials

After hearing concerns from Kettle Valley Road residents, Trans Mountain pipeline (TMX) has stated that activity from their trucks has lessened.

TMX representatives shared their progress on construction and updated locals at the District of Hope’s council meeting on Monday (Nov. 28).

For the past few years, locals have been complaining about the increasing volume of trucks driving through their neighbourhood, in order to get to the Hope-area gravel pit.

The biggest issue facing residents is the dust left behind by the trucks, permeating the air and entering homes; a few of the residents in the Kettle Valley Road neighbourhood have health problems that makes breathing in the dust a major concern. For these residents, this means being trapped in their homes, sometimes for weeks at a time, just to avoid the worst of the dust

They also stated that excessive use of engine brakes, speeding, and the truck’s insecure loads were leaving debris on the roadways. Furthermore, at the peak of any work day, residents noted as many as 60 gravel trucks rumbling down Kettle Valley Road, per hour.

Leah Caldow, the community liaison for TMX, said she believes the company has taken positive steps to address some of these issues.

“The expansion project, while it was a very complex issue and TMX does account for less than half of the road usage, we worked really hard to get creative to lessen our impact,” Caldow said during the council meeting. “And how we did that, we worked in conjunction with the [gravel pit] to stagger the expected arrival time for the trucks, with different contractors, to avoid that congestion.”

Caldow added that concerns have been minimized since the changes were made.

“We also put up signage. So, no idling or stopping on Kettle Valley Road. We ensured to print that in English, French, Hindi, and Punjabi so that everyone driving there could read [the signs] and understand. In addition, we continue to monitor the site. So, we have traffic monitors who go there. Since we put in these new mitigation measures, we have not tracked any backlog or observed any issues since they’ve been in place. So, I would say that’s been a really positive resolution and we worked really closely with [the District of Hope] on that matter.”

READ MORE: Hope RCMP stepping up gravel truck enforcement after residents complained

Since the Nov. 2021 flooding disaster, B.C. has seen a greater need for gravel in order to make highway repairs — such as the Coquihalla Highway, where a majority of the gravel from the Hope-area pit has been destined for.

In addition to addressing the concerns around Kettle Valley, TMX also gave an update on the progress of the pipeline expansion project as well as upcoming construction activity:

The expansion project is more than 70 per cent complete, with work in the Hope to Coquihalla area being about 51 per cent completed.

From Kettle Valley Road to Swallow Place, construction is expected to be complete by the end of the year.

From Nov. 2022 to March 2023, construction is expected to take place on a trenchless crossing at Flood Hope Road and the Flying J Travel Center.

In the Hope Lookout Trail, TMX is working with the Hope Mountain Centre, along with the district, to do reclamation on the area in order to return it to its original state.

The next council meeting will take place at the District Hall on Dec. 12, at 7 p.m.

READ MORE: New council makes first step in improving relationship with Chawathil First Nation


@KemoneMoodley
kemone.moodley@hopestandard.com

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